By age six I knew all the words to the Star-Spangled Banner, as a teenager I played the piano and sang pop songs trying out different vocal styles. Of course, being self-conscious, I’d wait until no one was home before I sang…

In college I was in a theater company and also the vocalist in a cover band. That was the first time I was paid to sing! I was so excited. By the time I was married and expecting our Andrea4fourth child l was singing in Las Vegas showcases and had been a soloist on a nationally televised talent show.

Our youngest child was about three years old when I won a county-wide singing contest and was flown to the State finals. When we moved to Washington State I chose to be brave and contacted the leader of a 19-piece swing band and asked if they needed a singer. I was so nervous about that phone call. It turned out to be a perfect fit and I’ve been singing jazz with that ensemble for years.

In 2005 I had surgery for thyroid problems. Unfortunately, surgery also inadvertently  caused one of my vocal chords to become paralyzed. It was a rough 2-1/2 years of no singing and barely being able to talk above a hoarse whisper. As medical specialists followed  my case and artificial procedures were discussed that might help my voice a little, it was discovered that I had a nodule of thyroid cancer growing next to my  healthy, non-paralyzed vocal chord.

Life is full of surprises.Singing at Lacey market

After two surgeries and some miracles I am once again performing with the large swing band. I have recorded a demo CD and a Christmas CD. I’ve begun giving public speeches and am writing an eBook regarding my experience.

Here is what I know: God has given all of us talents and He wants us to use them. God also knows the possibilities of our character traits and will allow things to  challenge us so that we can recognize strength that we never knew we had. It is important to have a flexible life plan and understand the greater importance of prayer and having faith.

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